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NATO Commander Seeks Reinforcements In Afghan South

NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe James. L. Jones (file photo) (epa) September 7, 2006 -- NATO's top military commander today called for the alliance's member countries to send reinforcements to southern Afghanistan, where a resurgence in attacks by militants continues to claim civilian and military lives.

Addressing a news briefing at NATO headquarters in Mons, Belgium, U.S. General James L. Jones acknowledged that the alliance had been taken aback by the increase in armed militancy in the area.

But Jones said that, with "modest reinforcements" of several hundred additional troops and more helicopters, the situation could quickly be turned to NATO's advantage.

In comments made to Reuters in Canberra, Canadian Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor assured today that NATO forces would eventually contain the insurgency in southern Afghanistan.

O'Connor said he believed the alliance would not be able to eliminate the Taliban "militarily" and that its objective should be to "get them back to some kind of acceptable level so they don't threaten other areas."

Canada provides the backbone of NATO operations in Kandahar. A total 28 Canadian troops have died in Afghanistan.

(Reuters, AP)